Monday, November 15, 2010

A Different Shade of Green

Today was another day in the pursuit of clean water. The weather has been amazing. The seas have continued to calm, the swell subside. Everything has come together for a great 3D shoot…except the water. Still green. We have spent the past five days chasing the Channel Island chain as far as possible to look for blue water, some 60 nautical miles from port. Today we added whole new level of suck. In addition to green mucky water we added billions and billons of mycid shrimp. Some of the most important base layers of the food chain I admit but not the most impressive sight when you drop down into the kelp and the vis drops from a pea green 15 ft to a pea green, shrimp soup of 6 feet. Time to work close up.

On the bright side, we did manage to drop into a clean water area amidst a kelp bed with hundreds of schooling blue rock fish. An inquisitive school of fish. First there was a couple, then more came in to see what the fuss was about. In about 15-20 minutes there were hundreds and hundreds of on lookers. I image we look like quite a sign to these Frisbee sized fish. Bright movie lights, funny looking large creatures in bright colored suits blowing bubbles. Interesting to imagine the other side of the coin sometimes.
The fish did there part and danced among the kelp for a long while. The shot developed and I think we walked away with a shot that wont be left on the cutting room floor (finally).

Still wanting a better shot, we surfaced toped off our tanks and dropped back onto the same sight with a tripod and different camera setup. The surge is always a factor in this environment. Sometimes it make the shot to have the camera swaying at the same pace as the content in the frame. Sometime it’s a better look to lock down the camera and the let the movement play out in front of the lenses. I find this more appealing in 3D than normal television because the minds eye is always focusing on a different subject swimming at different depths in the screen. Best not to overload the brain with too much movement.

Anyway, as we dropped through the kelp canopy my heart raced as a sea lion bolted past me about 60mph. He continued to dive bomb the dive team as we set up the tripod. The thought of actually capturing this action on camera didn’t even weigh heavily on my mind. After so many days of frustrating sea lions I know better than that. What I did see happening was the schooling blue rock fish were darting frantically as the sea lion approached an the school was dissipated. Shot gone. With no fish, clouds of mycid shrimp and a camera avoiding sea lion I knew we were sunk even before we finished setting up the tripod. Still we pushed on, set the 3D system up and rolled on a few minutes of less that spectacular (or even good) kelp footage. I’m tired of a different shades of green. I want shade so clear blue. Maybe tomorrow?

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